Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Teaser Tuesday

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at A Daily RhythmTo participate you grab your current read, open to a random page and share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INLUDE SPOILERS (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others). Share the title and author. 

"She's a wanted ship now," I reminded her, but Leia shrugged it off. 
"The Millennium Falcon is wanted everywhere. We just change the transponder codes and it's fine."

Star Wars Heir to Jedi 

Heir to the Jedi

I don't read many Star Wars books but I enjoyed this one a lot. It's told from Luke's perspective and concerns his activities early with the Rebel Alliance. There's a bit of a romance with an attractive pilot, and they do a lot of flying around the galaxy and getting in trouble. A fun read.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sunday Post #97



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Lots of sunshine this week. I finished  a few books. I read and reviewed Star Wars Heir to Jedi and read Deadfall as well. My thoughts on Deadfall will be up on Thursday. I also had my Bookcover Spotlight #2 on Friday- you can check it out here. It was a good week but went by fast. We're almost to July already- hard to believe.

Heir to the Jedi Deadfall (Blackbird, #2)

BOOKISH NEWS: 

Julie Mulhern is releasing the next book in the Country Club Murders this fall. 

Guaranteed to Bleed



NEW ARRIVALS UPCOMING REVIEWS: 

Time Salvager

The Introverted Reader reviews The Little Paris Bookshop

A Novel Start reviews Matched

Between My Lines has a great discussion post- why do you read

Here is the trailer for the Peanuts movie. Can't wait for this! 


Friday, June 26, 2015

Bookcover Spotlight #2

A Princess of Mars (Barsoom, #1)

This week I have A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs Cover art by Michael Whelan. Burroughs is best known for creating Tarzan, but for my money John Carter is his greatest creation. His tales of adventure on Mars fired my imagination as a kid, and I think Whelan's artwork is phenomenal at conveying a sense of wonder.

Michael Whelan John Carter of Mars

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Star Wars Heir to the Jedi

Heir to the Jedi

Star Wars Heir to the Jedi is a book set in the time between Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back and told from the perspective of Luke Skywalker. The first Death Star has been destroyed, and Luke is sent on a mission to retrieve a cryptologist from Imperial clutches, as she wishes to join the Rebellion. At the same time Luke is coming to terms with the loss of his mentor, Obi- Wan Kenobi, and trying to figure out how the Force works and how to become a Jedi, with no one to train him. He teams up with Nakari Kelen, an attractive pilot who accompanies him on the mission, and they buzz around the galaxy on some side missions before going after the cryptographer.

The action starts quickly with Luke and Artoo heading out to secure supply lines (read smuggling) for the Alliance. I liked how it was stated that the Alliance couldn't survive without smuggling. The story careens from planet to planet as Luke and Nakari make their way into the Core Worlds, conduct their operation, and then get her to safety. Along the way they run into TIE fighters, Imperial cruisers and pirates- and also have to bargain for repairs on a windswept planet.

"She's a wanted ship now," I reminded her, but Leia shrugged it off. 
"The Millennium Falcon is wanted everywhere. We just change the transponder codes and it's fine." 

I haven't read a lot of Star Wars books, but this one was a blast. I like the first person perspective of Luke. His transformation from farmboy to the last Jedi was of course the whole point of the story. So to see him here in the early days of the saga, trying to find his way without Ben, was a treat. He doesn't have a clue how to the Force, something that  hasn't really been examined before in much detail.

The only real issue I have is it did seem a little unrealistic that Luke would go around using his real name , and no one sold him to the Empire. But other than that, I really enjoyed this story, the narrative voice felt like Luke and it was fun to gallivant around the galaxy. There's some nice humor in this one as well.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Time Salvager

This week I'm waiting on Time Salvager by Wesley Chu. Going back in time, bringing someone forward, and then on the run on a ruined earth- hard not to get excited about this one.

From Goodreads:

Publishers Weekly Starred Review
RT Book Reviews Top Pick

Convicted criminal James Griffin-Mars is no one’s hero. In his time, Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humans have fled into the outer solar system to survive, eking out a fragile, doomed existence among the other planets and their moons. Those responsible for delaying humanity’s demise believe time travel holds the key, and they have identified James, troubled though he is, as one of a select and expendable few ideally suited for the most dangerous job in history.

James is a chronman, undertaking missions into Earth's past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. The laws governing use of time travel are absolute; break any one of them and, one way or another, your life is over. Most chronmen never reach old age; the stress of each jump through time, compounded by the risk to themselves and to the future, means that many chronmen rapidly reach their breaking point, and James Griffin-Mars is nearing his.

On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets Elise Kim, an intriguing scientist from a previous century, who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, and in violation of the chronmen’s highest law, James brings Elise back to the future with him, saving her life, but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, somehow finding allies, and perhaps discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity's home world.
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Hardcover384 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by Tor Books

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Teaser Tuesday

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at A Daily RhythmTo participate you grab your current read, open to a random page and share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INLUDE SPOILERS (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others). Share the title and author. 

I climbed out of the car. "It's dinner at the country club. what could possibly happen?"
Famous last words. 

The Deep End 

The Deep End

I enjoyed this mystery a lot, it's set in the 1970's and the protagonist is a country club wife who finds her husband's mistress dead in the club pool. Hate it when that happens. It's not the only murder though and things get a little twisted when she find out how her husband and his fling were really spending their time.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sunday Post #96



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This week I tore through some books- a good reading week. I read and reviewed The Deep End- a fun mystery- as well as Star Wars Heir to Jedi. I also posted my first Bookcover Spotlight, a new feature where I'll be highlighting book covers that catch my eye.

This next week I'll have reviews for Star Wars Heir to Jedi, as well as Bookstore Spotlight #2. I'll be out of town for part of the week so I will catch up with everyone when I get back.

Today is a beautiful day and summers in full swing. Hope you have a great weekend and week ahead. I'll be back to visit midweek.

BOOKISH NEWS: 

Julie Mulhern is releasing the next book in the Country Club Murders this fall.

Guaranteed to Bleed



NEW ARRIVALS/ UPCOMING REVIEWS: 

Heir to the Jedi Time Salvager

Deadfall (Blackbird, #2)


Talk Supe discusses the life lessons from the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Great post!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bookcover Spotlight #1

The Renegades of Pern (Pern, #10)

This is the inaugural post of my new Bookcover Spotlight, where I will highlight some of my fave covers. First up this week is Renegades of Pern by Anne McCaffrey, cover art by Michael Whelan.


I love this pic- something about the caravan, the wagons and the great beasts pulling them, the landscape- and of course dragons! Who wouldn't want to be part of this traveling group, at least for a while? How do they live, where do they go? It's a very imaginative piece, and as is often the case you don't get the full impact on the cover.



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #18

The Historians (The Historians, #1)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm spotlighting The Historians, by Trisha Leigh. This book has been delayed, near as I can tell, for a while. I actually did a WoW post on this book a few years ago, and it's still not out, although it looks like it's due in 2015 now. I'm looking forward to it due to the premise- and it has a nice cover too! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Deep End

The Deep End

The Deep End is a murder mystery set in 1974. a country club wife in Kansas City, Missouri. She's married to a banker and they are comfortably upper class. The only problem is her husband is unfaithful- with a woman Ellison knows from the country club. Ellison and her husband Henry have chosen to stay married for their daughter's sake, at least until she's in college. But everything changes one morning when Ellison goes for her usual swim at the club- and finds her husband's mistress in the pool, dead.

Madeline had affairs with many men, so she had no shortage of enemies. Henry is also a suspect, especially after he disappears the night of the murder. Ellison is shocked at this turn of events, and heartbroken that her daughter has to go through having both parents as murder suspects, starts digging a little deeper and finds some unsettling things. She knew her husband was into kinky sex, but finds out that his tastes went a little farther than she knew- and that he and Madeline were regulars at a club downtown. Ellison and Madeline'shusband Roger go there, because Roger wants answers- and Ellison finds about more about her husband's affairs than she wanted to know.

Meanwhile Ellison has to deal with her mother, who is sort of the queen bee of the country club set, connecting her with an attractive lawyer when she announces her decision to divorce Henry. And the detective investigating the case seems to take a more than professional interest in her as time goes on, though he tries not to let his personal feelings interfere with the investigation. When her house is broken into and more murders occur, things get verydangerous. And she finds out that Henry was blackmailing people at the country club- including someone very close to her.

This was a great story with a dry humor to the narration that I loved. It's told from Ellison's perspective and she's a riot, with her wry observations and witty asides. This book grabbed me from the first page- no slow build up here. I couldn't stop reading , it was one of those just one more page reads. THe mom is a hoot, as are her country club friends. Ellison discovers that her husband was kinkier than she thought- but the author doesn't overdo it. And there's a lot of humor throughout- it seemed like practically every page I was smiling or laughing at something. A very fun read, and was over way too soon.


Teaser Tuesday

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at A Daily RhythmTo participate you grab your current read, open to a random page and share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INLUDE SPOILERS (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others). Share the title and author. 

"Now I could tell that Mr. Ford had been doing his best to get to know folks from our town, from fishermen to librarians to little Dixie Weaver. He also talked on his cell phone quite a bit." 

A Killer Plot

A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery #1)

A KIller Plot is a fun cozy that I read last week, the first of the Books By The Bay mysteries. I liked it a lot, several murders rock the seaside town of Oyster Bay and a wealthy woman and her writing group have to try and solve the mystery. You can find my review here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sunday Post #95



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It's been nice week, with temps in the 70's for the most part and sunshine. A nice start to summertime. I got a bot of reading done too. It's funny I usually know in advance what I'm reading, more or less, but lately not so much. I'm kinda winging it, but then I'm a mood reader anyway. This week I read The Deep End and loved it. Lots of humor and a great story. My thoughts will be up on Tuesday.

The Deep End A 1,000 Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure (A 1000 MILE ADVENTURE #3)

Last week I reviewed A Killer Plot, the first in The Books By The Bay mysteries.

In addition to the return of Bookstore Spotlight (hopefully soon), I'm going to start spotlighting favorite book cover, starting on Friday. I'll cover all genres but it will probably skew towards fantasy/ science fiction, at least initially.

CURRE NTLY READING: 

The Deep End

NEW ARRIVALS UPCOMING REVIEWS: 

Heir to the Jedi Time Salvager

Murder in the Paperback Parlor Butter Off Dead (Food Lovers' Village mysteries #3) The Royal Assassin (A Victorian Bookshop Mystery #3)

NEXT WEEK :

Tuesday: Teaser Tuesday #38
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday #18
Friday: Bookcover Spotlight #1

AROUN THE BLOGOSPHERE:

The Attic is sadly closing down, but she is posting her scheduled blogger interviews- check them out here.  Some of the bloggers featured include Downright Dystopian and Reading Away The Days. Caroline will be missed.

The director of Jurassic World responds to Joss Whedon's sexism comment- but not in a bad way.

Somewhere Only We Know reviews Paper Towns.

Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies has a great Thursday Quotable on the Everglades.

Trailer time!



Read an excerpt from the upcoming Black Widow novel.

Lori Petty tells what she thinks of the Point Break remake.

If you want to read some fabulous (and very detailed) theories about Game of Thrones check out Ladygwynhyfvar or Meditations on a Song of Ice and Fire.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Killer Plot

A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery #1)

Olivia Limoges is a wealthy heiress, the richest woman in Oyster Bay, North Carolina- and happily single. She's solitary, save for her poodle Captain Haviland, and likes it that way- or so she tells herself. When she stumbles upon a writing group in the local diner, and is invited to join by a charismatic gossip columnist Camden Ford, she reluctantly agrees- and soon finds herself enjoying it. She wants nothing more than to finish her novel, and takes an immediate liking to the flamboyant Ford. So when he is found in alley with his throat cut, Olivia and the group are shocked. What's more, a haiku poem is scrawled on the wall behind him.

As Olivia and the other writers dig deeper into the circumstances of Camden's death, and the wealthy family he was doing an expose on, they find some troubling clues- and when more murders rock the little town of Oyster Bay, Olivia will need to watch her step or find herself in trouble. I read this because I loved Murder in the Mystery Suite by the same author. I don't read a lot of cozies, generally speaking, but that one grabbed me, premise and all, so after finishing it I wanted to read more of Ellery Adams. I didn't expect to like this one more, but I may have. The setting is great- Olivia leaves in a beachside house with a bank of windows facing the ocean, and likes to go for walks with her dog and her metal detector. She has personal issues that prevent her from opening up to others, so not only is she trying to solve a mystery, she is also learning how to live again, in a sense. This is where her writing group comes in- I liked all of them, the harried mother of two with a heart of gold, the computer geek with confidence issues, and the snarky bartender chick whose hair is a different color every time they meet. It was fun to read a part of their manuscripts as they got together to critique each other.

The cast and townsfolk are colorful, and the town is a neat place. I really felt a coastal vibe reading this, and Oyster Bay is a place I look forward visiting again. From the diner where every booth has a theme to The Yellow Lady, a delightful bed and breakfast, there's a lot of charm in the locations. And the food sounds delicious! The only issue I have is towards the end- all through the story it's pretty realistic, but at the end it felt like a bit of a stretch, a little implausible. In spite of that I enjoed this a great deal.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #17

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I have not done a Waiting on Wednesday in ages, so it's good to be back. This week I'm waiting on Murder in the Paperback Parlor. The first book Murder in the Mystery Suite was a lot of fun- you can see my reviews here

From Goodreads:

The New York Times bestselling Book Retreat mysteries feature Storyton Hall, the perfect getaway for literature lovers—except when a guest tries to get away with murder…

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Jane Steward is organizing a week of activities for fans of love stories at her book-themed resort. But her Regency readers barely have time to brush up on their Jane Austen before tragedy strikes Storyton Hall. Rosamund York, one of the most celebrated authors in attendance, is killed.

Rosamund had as many enemies as she did admirers, including envious fellow novelists, a jealous former lover, and dozens of angry fans. It’s up to Jane, with the help of her book club, the Cover Girls, to catalogue the list of suspects and find a heartless killer quickly—before the murderer writes someone else off…
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Paperback304 pages
Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by Berkley

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #37


TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at A Daily RhythmTo participate you grab your current read, open to a random page and share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INLUDE SPOILERS (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others). Share the title and author. 

"Alice Hart wasn't running away from anything. she was running towards something "

Murder in the Mystery Suite. 

Murder in the Mystery Suite (Book Retreat Mysteries #1)


This was a fun cozy. The premise is a resort in rural Virginia that caters to book lovers, with rooms and lounges names after literary figures. Of course a murder rocks the resort during the Murder and Mayhem Week- and to make matters worse, the owner finds out a family secret that will change her life. A great read- my review here


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sunday Post #94



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This week flew by. Summetime is here and I hope to do some more Bookstore Spotlights this year. And I just realized that June is two year- how I lost track of that I don't know, but looking through my archives reminded me. It's been a fun two years, and I'm looking forward to another one. I love sharing books and connecting with fellow readers, and have made some great friends I've never actually met. The book blogging community is special, and the Sunday Post is great place to visit every week.

I picked up a new cozy this week, based on the strength of one I just read, and am loving it. This author is becoming a go- to for me, and my thoughts on this one will be up on Thursday.

A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery #1)

Last week I reviewed A School for Unusual Girls- that can be found here. I also reviewed Tarzan and the Forbidden City (a fun read!), and my thoughts on Tomorrowland the movie. Let me know in the comments what you think.

It's a beautiful morning on Saturday as I write this- not a cloud in the sky and a nice cool breeze. Everything is still and quiet- and I've got some books to read. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

BOOKISH NEWS: Loreen Niewenhuis has released her latest book- A 1,000 Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure- t o indie bookstores a month ahead of amazon. She is on a book tour of Michigan through the summer and will be in IL too. Check out her blog post here to see pics of her stops in Traverse City and Brillaint Books (and you can see my Bookstore Spotlight of Brilliant here). I need to get this book- love the Great Lakes islands.

Third book in Great Lakes Adventure Series

CURRENTLY READING: 

A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery #1)

NEW ARRIVALS/ UPCOMING REVIEWS: 

Murder in the Paperback Parlor   Time Salvager  The Royal Assassin (A Victorian Bookshop Mystery #3) The Adventuress (Lady Emily, #10) Deadfall (Blackbird, #2)



The Rock is going to be in a remake of Big Trouble in Little China.





Friday, June 5, 2015

Tomorrowland



Tomorrowland is a movie about hope. Casey Newton (Britt Richardson) is a girl who knows how things work- she's bright and spend her time sabotaging the nearby dismantling of a Cape Canaveral launch facility, which will leave her dad unemployed. A mysterious girl observes her, and leaves a pin for her- a pin that will transport her to Tomorrowland, a futuristic utopia where the brightest work to make the world a better place. After she is arrested at the launch site, she uses the pin to visit Tomorrowland- and later meets Frank (George Clooney), a genius who went to Tomorrowland as a boy and was later banished. Together they will return to Tomorrowland, to find that much has changed- and to save the world, they will have to work together to set things right.

The biggest problem with this movie is- not enough Tomorrowland. It takes us a while to get there, but when we do- wow. Very cool. An awesome futuristic city, with flying cars and jet packs and all manner of awesomeness. There's a scene where CAsey is exploring the city and sees divers going through suspended water pools- going down through pool after pool, until they get to the bottom- that was neat. There is so much imaginative stuff in the few minutes we get to see the city with Casey- but after that we don't get nearly enough time there. More please! If you've ever been to Disney World and felt your pulse quicken as you approach Tomorrowland (or any of the other worlds for that matter)- that's how it feels here, the imaginative scope of it. That's what I came to see.

The story itself almost seems secondary to the visuals. Brad Bird obviously wants is to think about the state of the world, to not just take as a given that everything is bad and has to be that way. It's a little heavy handed and preachy at times, as some reviews have pointed out- and with the reported budget of this thing being close to $200 million, one wonders if one could make the world a better place using that money to, i don't know, improve thing somewhere. Nevertheless, the best movie can inspire audiences, and there's something to be said for that.

I'm not saying Tomorrowland is a great movie. It's not- it's often average, clunky at times, and the villain is lame. I was expecting more from Brad Bird, director of The Incredibles, and George Clooney. There's not enough of Tomorrowland itself- but the end is nice, even awesome. As I said above, this is a movie about hope- about a better tomorrow, about the sense of wonder we all have as kids, and hopefully still have as adults. I loved the way it ended- just felt right. I'm not sure it's enough to run out and see this- but it is worth seeing, to remind us of hope. I personally want t ocome out of the theater feeling good- and that doesn't happen nearly enough nowadays. Walking out of this movie, I felt pretty good. Even inspired, perhaps. And shouldn't that be the point of Tomorrowland?





Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tarzan and the Forbidden City

Tarzan and the Forbidden City (Tarzan, #20)

Tarzan and the Forbidden City starts with a request for help from a friend- Paul D'Arnot is helping a man find his missing son, and suggests that Tarzan may be able to assist. Tarzan meets with the man and his daughter, Helen Gregory, and agrees to help. Interestingly, Tarzan apparently looks a lot like the missing Brian Gregory- so much so, that some scoundrels nearby believe he is and try to accost him. Apparently Gregory was looking for a fabulous gem before he went missing, and the bad guys want his map. Tarzan fights his way free, and the bad guys escape. they are not easily dissuaded however, and are intent on getting the map- for it apparently shows the way to Ashair, the Forbidden City.

Later Helen Gregory is grabbed by Atan Thome, the ringleader of the bad guys. He demands the map in exchange for her freedom, but when Gregory tries to comply he finds the map missing. Stolen! So Thome keeps Helen, and plants a spy in the Gregory safari- his accomplice Magra, who is in love with Brian Gregory. There is also another plant in the party- a hunter named Wolff, who has been told by Thome to lead them astray. Together Magra and Wolff are to derail the Gregory safari, and meet Thome in Ashair. Oh, and Wolff stole the map. Looks like the bad guys have the upper hand-- but wait, D'Arnot knows there is a naval seaplane in town, and they can beat Thome to where is going. Off they go- but alas, they fly into a storm and have to go down.

"What's wrong?" demanded Wolff. "The engine isn't running." 
"You have answered your own question," said D'Arnot, walking back to his seat. 

They come down in a lake, and proceed to track Thome, who is now way ahead of them. Helen Gregory escapes Thome, only to fall into more misadventure. The story proceeds from there as both expeditions seek to reach the Forbidden City first- and claim The Father of Diamonds.

I liked this story a lot- it has the usual coincidences and eye rolling moments, but it's a fun romp. The party dynamics are interesting as well, as Wolff lusts after Magra but is rebuffed, and D'Arnot falls for Helen. Burroughs' romances are instalove all the way, but there is a certain charm here, especially as D'Arnot and Helen face danger together. There are plenty of hair raising escapes and the underwater temple is a nice touch- I think this is one of Burroughs' better outings. The moment towards the end where Tarzan must battle underwater, amidst a strange and beautiful marine garden, to rescue Helen from sacrifice is a keeper. The pace is breakneck, especially at the end- perhaps too much so, with captures, recaptures, and escapes, underwater grottoes, forgotten cults- this one has it all. And when The Father of diamonds is found- what a surprise.

"The girl speaks the truth," cried D'Arnot. "She came solely to find her brother, but that man lies. It was he who came to steal The Father of Diamonds. why else should he have come? He has no brother here. There is no other reason why he should have undertaken the expensive and dangerous journey to Ashair." 

"You all lie," snapped Atka. "Send the girl to the temple as handmaiden to the priests. Imprison the men." 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A School For Unusual Girls

A School for Unusual Girls (Stranje House, #1)

Georgianna Fitzwilliam is no ordinary girl. The year is 1814 and Georgie has just burned her father's stables to the ground, by accident. This is the last straw for her parents- they have their sons and she is a social embarassment due to her non ladylike ways- so they ship her off to a school renowned for straightening out wayward ladies. The school is Stranje House- a brooding old pile with ferocious dogs guarding the property and an imtimidating headmistress, Emma Stranje.

Her parents leave her there and she soon meets the other girls- Tess, Jane, Seraphina, and Maya. As she gets to know them she realizes they are not just wayward ladies or social embarrassments- they have unique skills or interests- as does she. And when she overhears a nobleman discussing her project, she realizes Stranje House is more than it seems.

Soon Georgie is embroiled in a plot pitting royalists versus Napoleon supporters, and her skill at developing an invisible ink becomes crucial in a diplomatic mission. The nobleman, Lord Sebastiam Wyatt, is an agent of the crown (read spy) and works closely with Emma to protect England's interests. Georgie finds herself falling for Sebastian, and the feeling is returned- but can their budding romance survive a treacherous former student and the winds of war blowing across the Channel in France?

I enjoyed this book a lot, and anxiously await the sequel. The writing is good and flows well, I was sucked in from the get-go, and the pace never flagged. I felt for georgie right off the bat, and liked the other girls- especially Sera. And it's such an atmospheric read- with smuggling caves and secret passageways galore- this is funny too at times- I loved the snarkiness of her internal voice.

Sebastian headed straight for her, carrying me like a dripping rag across the ballroom. "I believe this belongs to you," he said flatly. 
This? He's relegated me to a this? 

"Hmm." The Queen of Cruelty peeled back one of my eyelids and arched her brow. "Oh, you're awake. How very good of you to join us, Miss Fitzwilliam." 

There's a sequence where Georgie attempts to escape and is in a rowboat in rough seas, after rowing out of a cliffside cave, and I felt like I was there, with the lashing waves and howling winds. I give a lot of credit to the author for drawing me in. The romance seemed a little rushed, she gets all swoony rather fast, but at the same time the back and forth with Lord Wyatt was fun. It is a little unrealistic how quickly the action takes off- I mean she's literally been there a few days and she's swept into action in London and France. A very breakneck pace- maybe too fast.

In spite of this, I flew through this book and am ready for more. The girls gel together as a team, each one has a specific skill or ability they bring to the table- it's hinted these may be mystical abilities but never actually spelled out. I would like to see more of them, especially Sera and Jane. Hopefully sequels will flesh them out more. This was a fun read- an alternate historical, I guess you'd say. The author makes a point of exploring how decisons can have cascading effects- and here she posits what might have happened in the Napoleonic era if one decision had changed history. An interesting premise, and very steampunk lite- just a whiff of it. This was a good read, and has lots to offer.